Bhubaneswar, July 1: Abinash Lenka, who was wanted in more than 30 cases of loot and snatching, was arrested today after an encounter with police at the Gangua bridge near Santarapur.
The police spotted Lenka, 25, near the bridge around 3am and chased him.
However, he opened fire at them, which forced the police to retaliate.
Abinash was arrested after being hit by a bullet in the leg.
The police seized a 9 mm country-made pistol, one live bullet and a used bullet, two gold chains, some stolen ATM and debit cards and a motorcycle from the criminal who is under treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital.
“Police fired at him in retaliation in which he was injured. He was immediately shifted to the hospital,” said DCP, Nitinjeet Singh.
In the last month itself he was involved in 12 such cases.
Police swung into action after they got information that Lenka was planning to loot morning walkers in the city. The special squad of the police chased him.
“Seeing the police following him, he started firing at them,” said an officer.
The DCP said Lenka usually executed his plans late at night or early in the morning. He used to attack women.
“After several incidents of such snatching cases came to our notice, we formed a special squad and kept track on his movement,” said the DCP.
“He is being treated at the hospital and after he recovers we will produce him in the court,” said the deputy commissioner, adding that a case under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act had been registered against him in Badagada police station.
According to police officers, he was mainly involved in violent snatching cases in Badagada, Laxmi Sagar, Lingaraj and Balianta police station areas. Besides, cases were registered against him in other police stations in the commissionerate area.
“He normally used to target women who went for morning and evening walks,” said a police officer.
Police said he was arrested on several occasions by the police in the past. In January he was even arrested by Jajpur police along with his associate while escaping from Bhubaneswar after committing crime in Laxmi Sagar area. However, after being let on on bail, Lenka resumed his activities in the capital.
The police were waiting for Lenka to get well so that he could be interrogated.